Reading Response 6 PHI 101
(1) In “So It Goes” J. David Velleman talks about what it is for an object to ‘perdure’ and
what it is for an object to ‘endure’. In your own words explain what it means for an object
to ‘perdure’ and what it is for an object to ‘endure’. (2 points)
Endurance: An object endures if it is wholly present at each moment where it exists.
Perdurance: An object perdures through time if it is spread out over time the same way
it is spread out over space: by having a multitude of different parts adjacent to each other.
(2) In pages 360361 of “So it Goes” J. David Velleman talks about a theory of time called
presentism. (a) what is presentism? (b) according to Velleman, why can’t objects endure
if presentism is true? (3 points)
Presentism is the view that only the present exists. According to Velleman, the way we
think about our selfexisting is tied up in how we think about time passing. He considers
presentism as a view about the nature of time, which is like ditching everything from the
stick of butter picture except the moving spotlight. Velleman doesn’t think either picture
actually helps us understand what it means to say that time passes, but he thinks that
taking the self and the passage of time to be illusions can actually help us cope with
suffering and the prospect of death.
(3) In “The Powers of Rational Beings: Freedom of the Will” Peter Van Inwagen discusses
the notions of ‘free will’ and ‘determinism’. In your own words, explain what ‘free will’
is, and provide an example, and explain what ‘determinism’ is and provide an example. (4
points) Free will is the ability to make choices without external coercion. A popular view of
moral responsibility says that one is only responsible when one could have done
otherwise. For example, If I'm interested in philosophy (or not)